“he’s a lousy dentist. we’re not going back,” my dad complained.
“all he wants is our money. he’s too young to know old people. we need a dentist that knows old people. and one who knows parkinsons. we’re not taking her to just any dentist, ” he continued preaching to the world.
“all these doctors just want our money. they don’t know what they’re doing. mommy needs special care. they don’t care about her. why do i pay all this money if all they’re going to do is pull out her teeth? she needs her teeth to chew!”
“dad, her teeth are infected and they need to come out. it’s not good for her to be living with infections. it negatively affects her whole body,” i tried to explain yet again the dangers of gum disease and infections.
“well, we’re not taking her. you’re not a doctor. she needs to be able to eat. this dentist is too young. we need an old dentist. one who knows old people.”
i’ve learned over the years that fighting with my dad can feel a lot like riding a stationary bike, a really old one whose gears are broken. but i didn’t want my mom’s health to be at risk, so i set about trying to find an old doctor, one who knows old people and parkinsons. most people look for doctors who come highly recommended, i call and ask, “how old is your dentist?”
and then the miracle happened.
we had taken my mom to the cardiologist to have an ultrasound done on her legs as she has been experiencing severe cramping in both legs, typical of parkinsons – perhaps we might be able to manage the pain better. the doctor found that 75% of her blood flow was being blocked in her right leg – he could perform a simple out patient balloon procedure that would open her arteries and allow a more productive blood flow, which should result in fewer cramps and less pain.
“do it! let’s do it! can you do it right away?,” my father was almost dancing.
“the only risk is that of infection. we want to make sure there are no complications with infections. how are her teeth?, ” the doctor asked.
monday i took my mom into a new dentist, and had five infected teeth pulled and she was put on antibiotics right away.
i don’t know how old the dentist was, but apparently he was old enough.
that night, my mom slept like a happy baby,
and my dad, well, he was unusually quiet.